Even though it seems so simple and regular to eat, after all, it is everyone’s daily habit, baby is totally another case. He does not understand yet how, what or why he should do it, that is why you need to help him. Perhaps this list will help you to make the process easier.
Always begin with a huge smile on your face! No matter how anxious you might feel at the moment. Your little one is able to read the expressions on your face so if you are anxious he will become aware of this and might become quite anxious too. So all you need to do is to put a smile on your face and talk positively to him about the food you are giving. Go at his pace and remember he has a lot to learn. That is why it should take quite some time and a lot of patience and encouragement from you. Be sure to make every single meal a pleasure for both of you.
There are some mothers who give their babies the small weaning spoon to play with for a few days before the first meal. And it is an amazing idea because later it will not feel so strange for the baby in his mouth. Half fill a plastic weaning spoon with the smooth food and slightly tip it into your baby’s mouth allowing him to suck it off. Later it will surely become a habit.
The use of baby’s tongue
When the little one sucks at the breast or the bottle, he pushes his tongue forward and the milk squirts towards the back of the mouth. When it is the first time you give solid food for the baby, he will move his tongue forward and the food should come straight out. This does not mean your baby does not like the food, it just means he needs to try different tongue movements to find out how to move the food to the back of his mouth. It might take a several attempts for baby to realise that by not pushing the tongue forward, the food will stay in the mouth. Eventually, your baby will also learn how to move the food to the back of the mouth to be swallowed. So be sure to be patient and you will see results.
During the first few meals your baby might eat very little. Probably just one or spoons of the food you are suggesting. Your baby will still be getting all his nutrients and energy from the milk. Just keep offering food at least once a day, every day, so that it becomes a part of baby’s routine. Baby must practice new skills because everyone knows - practice makes perfect.
Your baby will gag food back into his mouth if he tries to swallow a quantity that is too large or a lump that is quite too big. This is normal and is an important part of your baby’s learning process. That is why you need to know choking is very different and happens when food gets stuck in the throat. If this happens, you need to react calmly and turn your baby upside down and gently pat him on the back to his throat.
At the beginning it will surely seem so difficult and strange, but soon after you will get used to it. The best way to make a successful journey out of it is to make sure, you both get the time of your lives in this experience.